Midi Is My Hobby

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Maxi skirts long have had their heyday when floor-grazing patterned sheaths dominated the runway, from a Valentino macramé lace number to a Cavalli beaded ruffled dress with glamorous boho movement. And mini trends were just as prevalent during the fashion week extravaganza, turning the summer staple to a showgoer uniform worn with striped orange jumpers and coveted heels.

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Then there’s the midi skirt trend that graced the street style playground in various shapes and form. Full, pleated, patterned, lace. A style so versatile that it’s evolved for the sole purpose of style and practice with a hint of Parisienne chic. Stumped on how to integrate a style favored by leggy models into your ensembles? Sky-high heels aside, here are two of my favorite midi styles for work and play (happy hour salute!)

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1.) Patterned: whether floral, baroque or jacquard lace, a printed midi will flatter your silhouette. Teamed with crop tops and dainty heels, the outfit is great for a cocktail party or an evening soirée. A friendly reminder — to emphasize a feature, choose large prints; to downplay one, go for smaller prints.

2.) Pencil Cut: a great office staple, it’s a surefire way to take your 9-5 wardrobe up a notch. Choose a high-waisted version and tuck in your crop top (belts optional) and add on bold accessories like chic eyewear and bejeweled necklaces.

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In my outfit today I played up the 2 iconic styles with this midi skirt from Milly by saturating my ensemble with bright colors. Because the effervescent floral number held the spotlight, I paired it with a black crop top and kitten heels. Sensory overload. Under tab. Want to add extra pep to your look?  Make sure your accessories pick up a color on your skirt, like the demure orange earrings that matched the coral hue on my dress.

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Whether you want to pull off this season’s ladylike trends with a pleated midi, or add an offbeat edge with a leather skirt, there’s an option for everyone. What’s your favorite midi style of the moment?

Xo~ Lena

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Top: H&M// Skirt: Milly// Shoes: 14th Union// Bag: Zara// Shades: Prada// Choker: Forever 21

Photos: Jason J

Hit Rock Bottom. Bounce Back Up

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go. Things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right. You believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together” – Marilyn Monroe

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Life can be a tumultuous ride; oftentimes we get caught up in the whirlwind where we are at our highest highs at one moment only to be dropped down next to our lowest lows. At that moment we experience an instant adrenaline rush that puts us in the fight or flight mode where we ask ourselves “should I pursue this or should I just let it go?”

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The feeling of perseverance resonated with me as I came by River North, which is a scintillating and upbeat neighborhood north of Chicago’s Loop. Despite its livelihood and crowd, this is one of the places where I encountered many fond memories and where down the road had to turn a “blind eye” to a few. This is the foreground to where friendships were born and nourished, and where the last goodbyes were bid adieu.

Yes despite all these perpetual changes in sentiment, I know one thing stays constant, and that is my character. I became Better. I moved Faster. I endured Stronger. And hopefully became more fun 🙂

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In my outfit today I paired tribal-print cropped pants with a fitted black blazer because I wanted to resonate with the idea of BALANCE. The colors are multi-toned and if looked closely can have a dizzying effect–this is like the dilemmas in life that catch us off guard.

In order to maintain equilibrium, we have to counter it with stable matters (much like the neutrality of this classic blazer) — a hobby that hones our creativity, a mentor that gives us sound advice, a blog to muse about frivolous yet enlightening thoughts without pause. These are the little trinkets of life that help us endure difficult times and build our character to counter new ones in a more resilient manner than before.

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So when you hit bottom next time, bounce back up. You know it’s in you to be a fighter and a survivor. And if you’re in River North, make sure to stop by Rock Bottom Brewery on Grand Avenue. A beer or two might help too 🙂

Xoxo ~ Lena

FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // BLOGLOVIN

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Phots: Jason J 

Tank Top: Banana Republic// Blazer: H&M// Pants: H&M// Pouch: Zara// Shoes: 14th Union// Watch: Marc Jacobs// Necklace: Forever 21

Gone With The Wind (Kinzie Bridge)

Chicago has always been a distinct and enigmatic place to me. The city, like the perfect interfusion of Ying and Yang, can so effortlessly morph concrete-laden architectures with perennially-infused backdrops. Take the Loop for instance. It’s the perfect juxtaposition of two worlds, one marked by the rapid mobility of human beings and turbo-powered machines that, within a few steps east of a six lane street, expands to an ethereal array of green landscapes and flowerbeds comparable to thriving botanical gardens far out in the suburban areas (read more HERE).

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Vintage architectures developed so technically with steel frames and terra cotta skins tower the vast open land by Lake Michigan, a design so remotely native to Chicago’s early developments in the mid-1890s. Past the Chicago red line a mile north of the Loop is where Chicago-style bungalows are well preserved in its quaint, organic form.  Made of sturdy mahogany bricks in decorative accents, these houses are flourished with colorful blossoms scattered across lawns so thriving and green.

That’s the Windy City in its innate form to me – scenically alluring with Mother Nature’s bountiful blessing, structurally magnificent with towering skyscrapers in modern and Neo-Classical forms, and widely diverse in its defined neighborhoods enamored with cultural and ethnic flair.

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In tune with my traveling spirit to explore a different neighborhood every week (so far I’ve covered Gold Coast (HERE), River North (HERE), and Lincoln Park (HERE), this fine and dandy day I came across the Kinzie Street neighborhood by the Carroll Avenue Bridge. Going by its widely-popular moniker, the Kinzie Bridge is a single leaf bascule bridge along the north branch of the Chicago River. A little food for thought—did you know that when it opened in 1908 it was the world’s longest and heaviest bascule bridge?  “Bascule” in French literally means “balance scale”, which the terminology holds true as a bascule bridge uses its counterweight against a horizontal pillar to maintain its equilibrium and only swings upward when signaled for vessel clearance.

Standing on the tarnished iron ore panels and looking far into the distant, I felt the ticking hand stood still for a moment, much like the remote buildings settled in tandem with one another. The next moment I look up, a traveling cruise vessel heads my way, erupting peace and quietness as quivering waves pound against shore.

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Following the direction of sail, I walked past Kinzie Park towards a residential area where I found a walkway enveloped in a garden full of lush greeneries and flowerbeds. As I sat there looking into the horizon, I realized that I was in the center of two worlds–one being a bustling metropolis on my right and the quiet, Zen-filled recreational area on my left. It’s like concrete-infused jungle meets sartorial heaven (but in tiny sprinkles of angelic dusts).

In my outfit today I wanted to bring out the idea of mixing “two worlds” by pairing a domain color with a subtle one, much like my vibrant pink sheath embellished with a mint green belt and gold detailing.

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To add vibrancy to the backdrop, I accessorized with my trapezoid clutch as its tribal resonance brings out the raw, innate beauty of the vicinity. As I set forth on the walkway following the settling waves reverberated by the remnant of its creator, I felt myself careless and free, ready to set sail on to new and exciting grounds. Gone with the wind, whichever direction it may blow.  Lighting up the journey with a smile on my face, on my way I go 🙂

Xoxo~ Lena   

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Dress: Francesca’s (similar HERE); Shoes: 14th & Union (similar HERE)

Photos: Jason J